Discordant Democrats vs. Republican Dittoheads

I was disturbed by a recent discussion on my favorite cable TV news channel. Anchors and pundits were discussing the different approaches used by the Republican vs. Democratic Party in the heath care reform fight. An anchor was pressing the two guests about this difference in strategy, challenging them with the idea that the Republicans were better at this sort of thing because they were coordinated and in lockstep. The word “lockstep” was used. Every single Republican will vote the same exact way on the health care reform bill (against health care). The Democrats, on the other hand, will be more diverse in their voting patterns and are currently more diverse in their arguments and positions on various aspects of each issue. This was clearly and unquestionably seen by these youngsters (I think everyone in the conversation was under 40) as a sign of weakness in the Democratic Party and strength in the Republican Party. Lockstep = good. Diversity of opinion and open, rational dialog = bad.

Holy crap. Do people really think that?

While I agree with many of my fellow liberals that the conservative wing of the Democratic Party is annoying, I would like to point out that this diversity of opinion among Democrats is actually the STRENGTH, not the weakness of the party. Republican lockstepism is mindless zombie politics. Republicans are not allowed to act on their own, and since acting usually follows thinking, thinking is optional. Well, actually, thinking is discouraged. Just do what you are told.

When people say Rush Limbaugh is the intellectual and spiritual leader of the Republican Party, they are not joking. They are observing. People with law degrees, decades of experience in government, who have been the authors of major legislation and who have been interviewed on Meet the Press because people have wanted to hear their opinion, who have non-trivially engaged in campaigns for the highest office in the land, and so on, are dittoheads. They think and do what Rush or Hannity or whoever tells them to do. This is pathetic beyond belief.

Let me remind you of how pathetic this really is. On March 2, the head of the Republican Party, Michael Steele, was being interviewed by D.L. Hughley on CNN. Hughley was talking to the elected head of the Republican Party, and had the unmitigated gall to casually refer in that interview to Rush Limbaugh as the de facto head of the Republican Party. Steele replied that he, Steele, was the de facto head of the Republican Party, and Hughley sort of agreed (“…you know what? I can appreciate that. But….”).

Rush Limbaugh, in hearing that the elected head of the Republican Party claimed to be the de facto head of the Republican Party, and that Rush Limbaugh was not the head of the Republican Party and was instead an over-the-top entertainer, slapped him down: “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of being some talking-head media star.”

Mr. Steele is recorded as having said, “Yessir, massa Limbaugh,” and then, suddenly realizing that this might sound bad, changed his tune slightly and said, “My intent was not to go after Rush — I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh … I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking … It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people… want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.”1

Blah blah blah. Mr. Steele certainly has learned his place.

Nothing even remotely like this could have ever happened among Democrats. Democrats are diverse on purpose. I’ve written before about this, in reference to working on the Franken/Coleman senate race recount. Hanging around with a bunch of Democrats you discover what that diversity means. The Democratic Party position on abortion is a good example: The Democratic Party respects and will leave alone Roe v. Wade. Many Democrats would prefer to see anti-abortion legislation, yet they understand that this desire is not something they can really push into policy within the party. So while it may appear that the party has a single-minded view of abortion (pro-choice), this is different from what Republicans do. If the Republicans heard one of their own say, “You know, nobody really likes abortion, but a woman should have the right to choose,” what do you think would happen to that Republican? If a Democrat said, “I don’t really like Roe v. Wade,” what do you think would happen to that Democrat?

The Republican position on abortion is whatever Rush says, and you are not allowed to disagree under any circumstances. If you do disagree, you can’t be a Republican, and if you continue to disagree, threats of violence will be made against you. If you continue to disagree and have some prominence and are at a public event of some kind, people with guns will show up outside the door.

Are you listening to me? People with guns will show up if they don’t like what you are saying. You are getting that, right?

Lockstep. People with guns threatening you if they don’t like what you say. People shouting you down if they don’t like what you say. What is next?

The position on gun control across the Democratic Party is a veritable market place of ideas, while the Republican Party’s position on Gun control is lock-step and armed to the teeth. The pro-gun, anti-restriction argument is one of the oldest extant Astroturfing games. I have written many times about gun control, and I’ve expressed opinions ranging from, “I wish there were safety devices added to some guns,” to, “Ban all guns now!!!!” I’ve issued these opinions mainly as experiments, to get people talking. As I have often said, I hold no strong opinion at this time about gun control. But if you read the comments on my blog posts, you’ll see that the reaction to my statements have always been exactly the same. Astroturf. There are no brain cells working in the pro-gun lobby, just a lockstep, heavily armed opinion, enforced by a subset of spokespeople and repeated by the dittoheads.

When a Democrat fails to support the party line and is more conservative than the rest of us like, that person is labeled a Blue Dog or some other such thing, but if that is the Democrat running for office in your district at the end of the primary process, you still vote for them. For crying out loud…last election I supported a minister for one position in Congress and worked many hours for a candidate that I liked quite a bit (Ashwin Madia) but who was nothing close to as liberal as I am. If I was a Republican and my views were mainstream, I’d have vilified Madia. Instead, I respected our differences. We don’t hate each other when we are not exactly like each other. We like each other when we are different. More or less.

Republicans don’t really have town meetings. And the Republican Party is usually the mouthpiece of Teh Corporate. The only real ideology of the party, outside of continuous sucking up to the corporate entities that usually support them, is racism and libertarianism. And most true libertarians hate Republicans.

It makes sense for a small party to be narrowly focused and diligent in expressing its opinion. If we had a multiparty system, that could happen; there could be four or five parties on the left, four or five on the right. A feminist party, a green party, a libertarian party, a pro-business party, a labor party, etc. However, if there were several such parties, at some point, they would have to work together to legislate and lead. If each of these narrowly defined parties acted as the Republican Party does now, nothing would happen. Our country would be paralyzed and the Canadians would invade, and we would welcome them. (Hey, if the Canadians take over, does the Queen go on our money, or would it be the Maple Leaf or some other Canadian thing? Loons would be cool….)

One could say that a multiparty system could never work in the U.S. Or one could say that the Republicans are simply doing it wrong. Which they are. The Republican philosophy is actually quite simple: “We have to be in charge, and if we are not, we’ll act like bullies until we are.”

Well, there is a way to deal with bullies. Stand up to them.

Bite me, Republicans. I would appreciate it if you were to stop breathing my air.

  1. The Steele-Rush affair is documented at Think Progress, Salon, and The Moderate Voice. []

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64 Responses to “Discordant Democrats vs. Republican Dittoheads”

  1. August 26th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Mike Haubrich says:

    The New Republican Party of No is all about protecting the status quo, in which the working class slavishly buy into their cultural conservative arguments against gay marriage, abortion, medicinal marijuana and anything else that represents individual self-rule on moral decisions; and then follow along to accept that the republicans in standing for those issues also have their interests at heart economically.

    Someone once pointed out to me that the reason so many working class side with the rich in America is that we think that “yes, we will be rich someday and we will want at that time to have economic policies in our favor.” In Ireland, by contrast, the middle class and the working class say “Fuck those bastards. They benefit by our labor.”

  2. August 26th, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Mediaspin says:

    Thanks for the days fodder for my blog. There I respond to your comments about Rush. Here I would like to say this about yours:
    “Republicans are not allowed to act on their own” Yea, Democrats have REALLY strayed from the party in key legislative votes over the past year.
    Strike one!
    “if you continue to disagree, threats of violence will be made against you. If you continue to disagree and have some prominence and are at a public event of some kind, people with guns will show up outside the door.” Wrong! Countless citizens, young and old, showed up in droves to town halls in August and many were denied access by Obama union thugs.
    Strike two!
    “Republicans don’t really have town meetings.” Just plain B.S.! Oh and by the way, Rebulicans do not have the votes to stop any legislation currently being swept through congress. So why would you need to talk to them anyway?
    Strike three!
    Your’e out!

    Nice try, though!

  3. August 26th, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Greg Laden says:

    So why would you need to talk to them anyway?

    I want to talk to them because they are my fellow Americans and I respect them even if I don’t always agree with them?

  4. August 26th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Greg Laden says:

    I just want to acknowledge the death of Senator Ted Kennedy.

  5. August 26th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Mediaspin, can you point me to documentation of people being kept out of town halls? I’ve been following this pretty closely, and I haven’t seen anything of the sort. Also, Greg documented the claim about our favorite local Republican representative calling private meetings town halls. Calling it B.S. doesn’t make it so.

    And finally, is that seriously the URL for your blog?

  6. August 26th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Mediaspin says:

    Here’s just one:
    and another:
    Did you hear Obama: ‘Don’t Want the Folks Who Created the Mess to Do a Lot of Talking’
    Yes that seriously is the URL for my blog!:

  7. August 26th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Mediaspin says:

    I’ll ask you this also: Rebulicans do not have the votes to stop any legislation currently being swept through congress. So why would you need to talk to them anyway? Democrats now own this economy!

  8. August 26th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Chris says:

    “Democrats now own this economy!”

    So whoever is in charge owns the economy and is totally responsible for it’s current state? Sure, just like when I buy that piece of shit car from you, I ran up all the miles on it, right?

    I may be responsible for fixing your fuck up, but you still fucked it up

  9. August 26th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Nope. I’m still not seeing anyone being denied access to town halls by “Obama union thugs.” I see crowds too big to fit the venues, and I see some effort to balance representation inside the meetings. I also see you trying to tell me two links to the same event are for different events.

  10. August 26th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Greg Laden says:

    I would not have thought of Obama as a great friend of the unions. Yes, he’s a Democrat and thus will be somewhat allied with American Workers (as we ALL should be, not just Democrats) but he’s not a union symp or a union puppet by any means.

  11. August 26th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Mediaspin, are you asking why a representative would talk to constituents of a different party? They’re still constituents.

    If you’re talking about something else, you’ll have to rephrase the question, maybe explain why you think I wouldn’t talk to someone.

  12. August 26th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Bush is NOT responsible for running up the currect debt caused by Obama’s $410 billion+ spending package. His current job approval rating is reflective of WHO America blames: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx Bush IS partially responsible yes, but even a moron can has the brains to know that you don’t spend MORE when you’re already in debt. Obama has spent historic sums of money in a few short 6 months as well as during peacetime!

    My point is that it would be of little benefit to talk to Rebulicans right now anyway as they do not have the votes to stop any legislation currently being swept through congress!


  13. August 26th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Medikaspin: Spin is right! The Republicans and George Bush totally ruined our economy and brought this country to the brink of disaster, and in many areas (like the entire fucking state of Michigan for instance) well beyond disaster. They did this. Rush did this. You did this.

    How can you seriously blame the calvary, which has ridden into town at the last second and is busy saving us, for this disaster!?!!?

  14. August 26th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Mediaspin says:


    Obama has ridden into town at the last second and is busy saving us with a $410 billion+ spending package, a take over of 1/5 of the US economy with socialised healthcare, and an ever rising unemployment rate (which he promised would not go over 8% if we did pass the spending package). Yea, you;re right! Now i can clearly see how it’s Bush’s fault! Wow, and if only the combined efforts of the mainstream media could drown out Rush’s dribble, America would then unite as one!

    Greg, you can thank Washington for ruining the auto industry….ALL of Washington….not a talk show host! Rush is a TALK SHOW HOST! Obama is President. Rush has a microphone….Obama has THE pen! Washington takes more ane more of YOUR money every paycheck….not Rush! You don’t seem to care about this! If Bush ruined the economy then why is Obama raising your taxes and drinving more businesses OUT of business?

    Dude….wake up!


  15. August 26th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Your first paragraph simply fails to address the fact that we were heading into the worst economic decline in decades, and were already deeply into the worst moral decline ever in our nation’s history.

    Your second paragraph seems to imply that the auto industry was not already ruined long before Obama took office. Which it was, owing to a number of factors incluing YOU! (what kind of car do you drive and why???)

    I love the fact that you seemto use “Rush” and “Bush” interchangeably.

  16. August 26th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Your comments simply fail to address that If Bush ruined the economy (as you contedt) then why is Obama raising your taxes which in turn is driving more businesses OUT of business thus making “Bush’s” economy even worse? By the way, I hate the fact that you cannot answer why Obama’s current job approval rating continues to worsen: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx

    Just today John Boehner of Ohio said this: “The health-care overhaul “is just the latest in a long line of expensive Democratic experiments that will add to the deficit, raise taxes on families and small businesses and cost more American jobs,” Boehner said in a statement.” (Obama Raises 2010 Deficit Estimate to $1.5 Trillion http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNaqecavD9ek) Hmm, not very clear whether John Boehner is still trying to ruin our economy or not!

    If it brings you peace to blame Bush, Rush and me for your ills, then so be it. Either way, I stillI wish you and yours well.


  17. August 26th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Deen says:

    I still have a small sliver of hope that the Republican party is going to have a schism over the current situation. With many Republicans and their supporters turning ever more extremist, I can imagine that many more moderate Republicans want out, even if they don’t want to become Democrats just yet. The question is: will they be prepared to take the risk to lose the chance to get a majority forever?

  18. August 26th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Lorax says:

    re: mediaspin

    “post hoc ergo propter hoc”

    Look it up…think about it…think about it a little more…no really, think about it…c’mon just think about it for a day or two…now tell me about Obama and the economy again.

  19. August 26th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Mediaspin: The economy was in ruins prior to inauguration day. Did Obama do that?

  20. August 26th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    My point is that it would be of little benefit to talk to Rebulicans right now anyway as they do not have the votes to stop any legislation currently being swept through congress!

    Oy. Go back and read the post–and not just the parts about Limbaugh. (1) Legislation is not “being swept” through Congress. Even with a Democratic majority, there are plenty of differences of opinion. Bills are being debated and compromises being made–among Democrats and Republicans.

    (2) The party values diversity. No one has a monopoly on good ideas, and no one never has a good idea, even people who are wrong in the main. Republicans are working with Democrats (although they’re not bragging about it) to get their pet legislative ideas into bills that never would have even come up under a Republican majority. A great example of this is the Republican who got the advanced care directive consultation reimbursement (aka “death panels”) into health care reform bills. He couldn’t do that while the Republicans were in power, because they weren’t going to go anywhere near health care reform.

    On other matters, Obama isn’t putting companies out of business. The stimulus package is working. The S&P 500 index has risen 200 points (25%) since he took office in January. Companies that cut employee benefits at the end of last year are starting to restore them. The companies going into bankruptcy are mainly auto-related (in trouble since gas prices went up when we invaded Iraq), telecom (in trouble since the dot-com bubble burst) and publishing (in trouble because corporate giants bought up the newspapers and gutted them, also can’t adapt to the internet age). None of those have anything to do with Obama.

    Also, one of the arguments for health care reform is that people can’t afford to be entrepreneurs these days. Finding the capital to start a business is one thing. Getting to the point where the business can afford to pay for your health insurance is a whole different proposition. This stifles innovation and allows other countries to jump ahead of the U.S. in technology and business. The only business the status quo is good for is the insurance business.

  21. August 26th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Mike Haubrich says:

    There are a couple of wars started by Bush, and coupled with tax cuts on the wealthy, lax enforcement of banking, lending and securities regulations that came into play long before Obama. History isn’t so fleeting that conservatives like MediaSpin should be able to forget so quickly.

    People are dying for lack of health coverage, fucker (I mean you, MediaSpin) and the conservatives are protecting the insurance companies’ continued rape of the working class.

  22. August 26th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Mike Haubrich says:

    If Bush ruined the economy then why is Obama raising your taxes and drinving more businesses OUT of business?

    He’s not raising my taxes. More of my customers are optimistic about their businesses now than they were 6 months ago. I ask them because it’s my job.

    You go ahead and believe what you want to believe because its your chosen ideology. The Democrats should stop talking to the Republicans because the Republicans have nothing to contribute, or if they do they are afraid to voice their contributions for fear of retributions.

  23. August 26th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Dan J says:

    mediaspin – another mindless republican mouthpiece…. and they wonder why we’re driven to the urge to bash in their heads when they spew their nonsense. I’m fucking sick of them.

  24. August 27th, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Lorax says:

    Hey lay off mediaspin, he/she/it has apparently taken my advice and is currently considering what post hoc ergo propter hoc means to him and his argument.

  25. August 27th, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Sam N says:

    MediaSpin made the mistake of posting comments on a blog where people employ an increasingly rare skill called critical thinking. It unfortunately only makes him look more and more foolish in front of this audience.

    But MediaSpin, if you have any sensible, good arguments to make, by all means let loose. I always have an open mind, only it’s guarded by said critical thinking, which keeps it from becoming a closed mind.

    For example, your assertion that democratic representatives should ignore republicans as they have the majorities to pass legislation: with regards to health care reform, I think it would be an exceedingly good idea (aside from the mostly reasonable senators from Maine).

  26. August 27th, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Mike Haubrich says:

    Thanks, Sam. The Democrats should push it through without compromise nor concession to the Republicans because of this:

    Mike Enzi simply blocking health care reform.

    “It’s not where I get them to compromise, it’s what I get them to leave out,” Enzi said Monday, according to the Billings Gazette.

    Enzi found himself under attack at the town hall simply for sitting in the same room as the three Finance Committee Democrats. Republicans in the crowd called for him to exit the talks. He assured conservatives that his presence was delaying health care reform.

    “If I hadn’t been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care,” he said.

  27. August 27th, 2009 at 10:55 am


    Bill Maher just stated that 60% of the american people were too stupid to know whats good for them….you just proved what percentage you belong in….by the way wasnt that the percentage of people who voted for Obama ? I vote conservative because i want the government out of my life. Ive never been to a Reb function or a Dem for that matter, dont own a gun but do belong to the NHRA, believe in conservation and green energy but im not willing to give up halve my income to bureaucrats to waste , want to see healthcare for those that need it but not willing to give mine up. make me a hard-ass ? guess so ..il wear that proudly !

  28. August 27th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    It does not make you a hard-ass, Terry. I’m a hard-ass and I assure you that you don’t have a clue what a hard-ass is.

    It does make you a selfish ignorant hypocrite, though. That’s good, isn’t it?

  29. August 27th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    For all the self described critical thinkers here:
    Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data
    OK, how does this make you feel?

  30. August 27th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Which bill, House or Senate?

  31. August 27th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Never mind, I’m sure you don’t know. I found it: House bill.

    Here’s the text:


    (A) IN GENERAL- Upon an initial application of an individual for an affordability credit under this subtitle (or in applying section 242(b)) or upon an application for a change in the affordability credit based upon a significant change in family income described in subparagraph (A)–

    (i) the Commissioner shall request from the Secretary of the Treasury the disclosure to the Commissioner of such information as may be permitted to verify the information contained in such application; and

    (ii) the Commissioner shall use the information so disclosed to verify such information.

    (B) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES- The Commissioner shall establish procedures for the verification of income for purposes of this subtitle if no income tax return is available for the most recent completed tax year.

    … So, before somebody gets free stuff their income and status has to be verified. This is typical of all such programs. I know, I know, you oppose all such programs. Until you need them, of course.

  32. August 27th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    “gets free stuff”?
    Define “free”.

  33. August 27th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Wow, you don’t know what free is? Wow.

  34. August 27th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Ok, lets try it this way: Who pays for the “free stuff”? Where does it come from?

  35. August 27th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Mediaspin, it comes from the same people as it does under private insurance, only with less peeled out for overhead. Yes, it goes out to more people than under private insurance, but that’s only because when we talk about private insurance, we don’t talk about the costs on the side, like lost productivity being paid for by companies (and keeping individuals from paying as much in taxes) and emergency care and disability payments for preventable disabilities, which already being paid from taxes. All these things already cost us.

  36. August 27th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Mediaspin, are you intending to teach me some sort of lesson here?

    Here is how it works. Taxpayers like you (maybe you are a taxpayer) and me put money into the system. The government, working as our surrogate, takes some of that money and does things with it, like building a road. Then people get to use the road “for free.” The road is not actually free, but you get to use it for free (unless it is a toll road, of course).

    For certain kinds of things, usually services, we as a just and compassionate society chose to provide for those who cannot afford it. Part of the new health care system would be to ensure that everyone is covered, meaning that those who are loaded will pay more, those who have nothing will pay much less. Some people will get some things for free.

    We are making a very serious assumption here. We are assuming that the ability for someone to pay is not a measure of their worth.

    But we also have to know that people who show up at the table and can’t pay really can’t pay and are not just mooching. So we check. We basically want to trust people (thus people can provide their own income documentation, as the bill says) and/or it can be verified.

    Trust but verify.

  37. August 27th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Hopefully Greg will read this…..he thinks it’s free!
    Here’s my problem with your statement Stephanie: I’ll help pay for someone else’s roads and bridges but it is “unfair” for the government to force me to pay for someone else’s healthcare.Someone else’s smoking habit, drinking habit, rock climbing accident, bar brawl….you name it! If you’re going to keep costs down then you HAVE to put limits on the coverage.
    Check out what Canadian government healthcare has to offer: (scroll down to wait times)
    Notice how long the wait is under government run Medicaid.

  38. August 27th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Wouldn’t it be more compassionate to lower taxes (in general) and reduce insurance costs?

  39. August 27th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Lowering taxes is not a compassionate thing to do if they are already so low (as they are) and this hobbles the system, so no on that.

    Reducing insurance costs is good, and the new health care plan does that in several ways.

  40. August 27th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    “if they (taxes) are already so low (as they are)”
    This begs the question: Do you pay any taxes?
    If your taxes are so dreadfully low then why don’t you voluteer to pay more?
    So, did the Reagan tax cuts hobble the system?
    “The Reagan tax cuts, like similar measures enacted in the 1920s and 1960s, showed that reducing excessive tax rates stimulates growth, reduces tax avoidance…” “High marginal tax rates discourage work effort, saving, and investment, and promote tax avoidance and tax evasion.” http://www.house.gov/jec/fiscal/tx-grwth/reagtxct/reagtxct.htm
    Dude, this is from YOUR government!!!! Too bad I’m just another mindless republican mouthpiece!

  41. August 27th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Mediaspin, you’re not talking about limiting treatment for the “undeserving.” You’re talking about limiting everything, which includes care for congenital heart defects, flu, Type 1 diabetes, arthritis, injuries sustained when struck by uninsured motorists, etc. Also, while it might make you feel righteous to judge whose “habits” are unworthy of care, compassionate care of addicts costs much less than emergency response, incarceration and detox. Again, you’re paying either way, but everyone–you included–comes out better under a system that provides care up front instead of waiting until there’s an emergency.

    Every system puts limits on care. My wait time for an MRI with private insurance was significantly longer than the Canadian median, and the whole thing would cost half as much under the Canadian system. As for Medicaid wait times, well, there’s a reason a public option would look more like Medicare.

  42. August 27th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    No, Mediaspin. It’s not from the government. The title may say joint committee, but look at whose names are on the report. You do understand that the reason the rich pay more under those circumstances is that they end up with a higher proportion of the wealth, right? Wealth consolidation has been going on for ages in this country (another thing that discourages innovation, by the way–no funds for capitalization without going into massive debt).

    When you talk about the level of taxes, you should know that you’re talking to people in a state that used to have the best road system in the country. After two decades of tax-cutting administrations, we recently had a bridge fall down. You might have heard of it. Luckily, stimulus funds are fixing up a lot of the bridges that were poised to follow suit.

    And yes, I pay taxes. And yes, I could probably avoid some of those taxes if I worked harder at deductions. I don’t bother.

  43. August 27th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    I do not feel righteous nor am judging whose “habits” are unworthy of care, but I am using simple logic to suggest that the USA cannot afford to pay for the incredibly numerous influx of “habits” and pre-existing conditions that will swamp this program! Those who take care of their bodies with healthy living will be penalized (through tax burdon and medical wait times) by those who do not CARE about taking care of themselves because of all of (Greg’s) freebies! Is THAT fair!

  44. August 27th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    If your taxes are so dreadfully low then why don’t you voluteer to pay more?

    I have the same tax schedule everyone else who is not rich in this country has, and it is low by and rational standards, and I do volunteer to pay more. Not much more, but a little here and there. Don’t you?

    “The Reagan tax cuts, like similar measures enacted in the 1920s and 1960s, showed that reducing excessive tax rates stimulates growth, reduces tax avoidance…”

    I’m not opposed by principal to tax cuts, I do not worship them irrationally as you seem to . The Reagan tax cuts created the largest deficit to date in this country. Thanks Ronald Reagan.

    Too bad I’m just another mindless republican mouthpiece!

    Now we’re getting somewhere.

  45. August 27th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Wealth consolidation has been going on for ages in this country (another thing that discourages innovation, by the way–no funds for capitalization without going into massive debt).

    Wealth consolidation is historically one of the primary causes of economic crises.

    Mediaspin, tell us what government programs you currently use (for free or cheap), have used or plan to use. I trust you went to private grade school, for starters. Is that right?

  46. August 27th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Mediaspin says:


    OMG! It’s on the house.gov website!!!!!! It doesn’t matter whose names are on the report, it’s a government document! The Congress of the United States!!!!

    Jeez! It’s not like I quoted Media Matters for America or something!


  47. August 27th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    “Mediaspin, tell us what government programs you currently use (for free or cheap), have used or plan to use”

    Like I’ve already said:
    I’ll help pay for someone else’s roads and bridges (and schools) but it is “unfair” for the government to force me to pay for someone else’s healthcare. There, I have drawn a distinction!

    “I have the same tax schedule everyone else who is not rich in this country has, and it is low by and rational standards, and I do volunteer to pay more. Not much more, but a little here and there. Don’t you?”

    No! But I do give a weekly portion to non-governmental “entites”. Dude, you are an original. I wonder how many other people out there like you that wake up each day and can’t wait to pay more taxes than the government currently asks them to pay. (‘Cause that’s what I was talking about Greg……taxes (see post #40))


  48. August 27th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    I wonder how many other people out there like you that wake up each day and can’t wait to pay more taxes than the government currently asks them to pay.


    I make the contributions to the election funds to try to help offset the lobbyists, and I make the contribution to the state conservation fund thingie. I think that’s it. I was going to get a loon lisence plate last time but I forgot. That’s a donation to the conservation fund. Oh, wait, one more: We have a new voluntary tax that goes with your fishing license. Most fisherpeople in Minnesota actually do opt for this, it turns out. It supports restocking and stuff.

    Unlike Stephanie, I tend to do all the deductions, I’m very accurate with my Schedule C (most people who do not have accountants and stuff but have a business overpay).

  49. August 27th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    No Gregster you were talking about taxes (see post #40))
    I asked you if your taxes are so dreadfully low then why don’t you voluteer to pay more?
    In post #44 you said: “I have the same tax schedule everyone else who is not rich in this country has, and it is low by and rational standards, and I do volunteer to pay more.”

    So I ask you again: Which TAXES do you consider low?

  50. August 27th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Mediaspin, I already pointed out that treating addiction and the addicted up front saves money. Seems pretty fair to me. Logical too. Your insistence that we can’t afford to pay for something we already pay too much for is the illogical part. Well, that and suggesting you’re not already paying for “habits.” Rock climbers are not excluded from private insurance, you know. Neither are addicts. You’re just paying extra for the insurance overhead on them.

    And how far do you think I’d have to look for people whining about the bias of reports coming out of the Obama administration? Politicians do not suddenly become nonpartisan when they take office. You know this as well as I do.

  51. August 27th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    You are starting to get annoyingly sophistic. Perhaps you need to make yourself more clear. I consider most or possibly all of our TAXES to be relatively low. I also think much of that tax money is poorly spent by the government, and that is mostly Bush’s fault. (See MIke’s comment above about your TWO WARS! … you should be paying for that, not me…)

    Now, having cleared that up, do you think that these fees for license, etc. and things that are paid for with a schedule C and a 1040, etc are somehow NOT taxes? You sound like our governor!

  52. August 27th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Stephanie, treating addiction “up front” should not be the business of the government. Personal responsibility is quite key here. All you are doing is providing a safety net for those who wish to indulge in “risky” behavior. How do you treat people “up front”? How are you going to know when someone becomes addicted to whatever until they are…..and then it’s too late! This makes no sense. Instead, when people pay for a share of there own insurance there is much more personal accountability on their part!

  53. August 27th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Regarding addition: Those are good questions. I absolutely promise you that if you want to reduce addiction by having everyone pay for their own insurance, etc. then you are not going to have much success. But, yes, addiction is a real problem, personal responsibility is an asset that must be used, and we can do better than we are doing now.

    The fact that we are currently paying through the nose makes me mad and I want that to stop. I want a sensible, logical system in place. The current system, which you (Mediaspin) are arguing should be maintained is not working at all. So let’s change it.

  54. August 27th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Bush’s TWO WARS! Uh-oh, Greg’s shifting the arguement!
    Greg, 9/11: Where were you?

    Sorry guys…gotta go for now…………………….

  55. August 27th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Mediaspin says:

    Greg, we both agree it needs to be changed. We all should be able to move forward from that common ground! 😉

  56. August 27th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Dan J says:

    Well, it seems obvious to me that mediaspin would rather that I just shuffle off this mortal coil so that all the money I’ve paid in to the government can go to support people who are “more deserving” of those benefits. You know; people who make more money.

    Yes, mediaspin, I’m one of the “working poor”. I don’t make enough money to afford health insurance. Don’t even start to give me that bullshit about these cheap plans that are available. I know about them, and most aren’t worth the paper that the policy is printed on. Unfortunately, since I don’t have dependent children, there’s no way I can get Medicaid either. Even with no income, I can’t get Medicaid.

    This is why I don’t go to the doctor. I can’t afford it. What happens if I get really sick? Apparently that’s when the mortal coil gets shuffled off, as I mentioned at the start of my rant. This country needs universal health care with a single payer system. Compassionless bastards who think otherwise go on to my “FOAD” list.

  57. August 27th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Bush’s TWO WARS! Uh-oh, Greg’s shifting the arguement!
    Greg, 9/11: Where were you?

    OMG, I did a full across the room spit take when I read that. YOU DANGEROUS MORON! Do yuou have any idea how many American men and women, and Iraqis, dies because of this invasion? It is absolutely perfectly well established that Iraq had NOTHING …NOTHING!!!! to do with 911. Nor were there weapons of mass destruction waiting in storage areas to be used, which I suspect you will be claiming next.

    Do YOU have any loved ones who have died in this war of yours, or who have lost relatives, or who have had husbands, wives, fathers, sons, daughters, taken away and kep over seas to support this unnecessary occupation?

    You, sir, shall consider yourself very fortunate to have not said that to my face. Very fortunate.

  58. August 28th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Mike Haubrich says:

    Yesterday as I was outside the Bachmann “happy fun ball tour of health care,” I was holding up a sign that basically said I want all Americans to be able to have the same health care as the Congresswoman. A couple walked out, and they were among those who didn’t sneer or jeer at me. They said that they want the same thing, but wanted to know how to pay for it all. I told them to ask the people who had start a war to avenge 3400 people, by attacking the wrong country.

    They shrugged and walked on…

  59. October 11th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Reh Dogg says:

    Liberals really need to get a grip on life. I don’t want Big Government telling me what I can and can’t do. I don’t want Big Government taking away more and more of my liberty and freedom. I’m a minority being a black conservative male and I want all of Obama policies to FAIL.

    No God in schools but children are allowed to sing praises to Obama. Have they forgotten what this country was built on? Our U.S. currency says In God We Trust not In Obama we trust. He lies constantly and I’m ashamed of all my black brothers and sisters who are ignorant to believe everything Obama say and does. Or simply don’t care because he looks like us. I’m sick to death of my people being taking for a ride by big Government. too many of us just don’t get it. we will never advance as long as you let someone else take care of you instead of striving to do better for yourself. when I heard those ladies on TV who are homeless and they were going to participate in the program to help them get a home. I was embarrassed by the words they spoke. how could they not know where the money was coming from? But as Rush said these women are model citizens in Obama utopia world.

  60. October 11th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Mike Haubrich says:

    “As Rush said” is all you needed to say. You poor deluded soul.

  61. March 3rd, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Tim says:

    lmao,, idiots like you that have ruined this once great nation.

  62. March 3rd, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Tim, which moment of greatness were you thinking about? During the native genocide? Before the abolition of slavery? Before child labor laws were put into place? During segregation? During the huge government spending of the Cold War?

  63. March 3rd, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Before. When Rush Limbaugh was still a football player, before he had to come out and become a radio announcer and tell us what to think.

  64. March 25th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Brad says:

    The only thing I have to say about Republicans and corporation…..is that Rep. bows down no more to corporations, then Democrats do to unions. Both sides have their lobbyists’, who by the way do not always work in the best interests of the people (you and me). This makes both Dems. and Reps. equally unethical. Yes, I said it…..a word that seems to be raised high, in the business world, but is avoided in the world of politics.

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